Programs and Services

  1. Home
  2. Programs and Services

Your local Conservation District is a valuable source of information and referrals on a wide range of environmental topics.

We are knowledgeable and well connected to the statewide network of federal, state and local environmental service providers. District staff can answer your question or refer you to the right agency. We can untangle the often complicated web of jargon and procedures to find answers for your environmental needs.

Your Conservation District office is a resource center offering USGS Topographical Maps and a variety of books, journals, pamphlets, fact sheets, videos and many free resources for the public.

Conservation Districts provide many technical services to their towns and cities including site visits, site plan reviews and other on-site investigations. We specialize in soil erosion and sediment control plan review. We often assist municipalities with water quality, wetland and stormwater issues as well as associated environmental impacts.

Education for Town Staff and Commission Members

Due to Connecticut’s system of home rule and the lack of any county or regional level of government, key land use decisions are made on the local level. This means that the volunteer members of Planning & Zoning, Inland Wetlands or Conservation Commissions play an important role in shaping the future landscape of their community.

We provide high quality technical training programs geared to municipal land use staff and commission members. It is our goal to provide these individuals who make the important land use decisions with the best information and tools possible.

Connecticut’s Conservation Districts are dedicated to educating youth and adults alike about the value of conserving our natural resources. The conservation districts work closely with many partners to promote conservation education in their local areas through a variety of programs such as:

Stewardship Week

Each Year some Conservation Districts offer materials to schools and churches based on a new Conservation Theme. Order your Stewardship packet in January.

Connecticut Envirothon

The Envirothon was organized by a handful of volunteers with a vision to bring natural resource conservation, and environmental education to tomorrow’s farmers, conservationists, teachers, consumers, voters, decision-makers and conservation district staff and board members.

The Envirothon is a hands-on outdoor competition for high school aged youth that test’s student’s knowledge and understanding of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and a current issue that varies from year to year. Please visit the Connecticut Envirothon’s website for more information.

As key partners with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Conservation Districts are involved in many on the ground projects statewide resulting in cleaner waterways. Many of these projects are funded in part by Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, and address non-point source or agricultural pollution. Visit your local District to find out what’s happening in your watershed.

Conservation Districts also work closely with local Watershed, Lake or River Advocacy Groups. In partnership, they tackle many projects statewide in areas such as:

  • Assessment: State of the Watershed Reports
  • Watershed Planning
  • Monitoring River Health
  • Water Testing and Monitoring
  • Streambank Restoration
  • Storm Drain Labeling
  • Non-point source education for business owners
  • Control or Eradication of Invasive Aquatic Weeds

Districts also conduct public informational campaigns aimed at fostering a sense of land stewardship among local citizens. Each of us can do a lot for water quality by simple actions in our daily lives.

  • Place trash in covered containers
  • Prevent soil erosion
  • Clean up after your pets
  • Conserve water
  • Limit your use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Perform regular vehicle maintenance
  • Choose household cleaners thoughtfully
  • Have your septic system inspected annually

The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” is certainly true in land use planning.

Communities across the state are challenged by growth and want to take charge of their future. The rapid pace of development has energized Land Use Commissions, Land Trusts and other citizen groups to take inventory of local natural resources and develop plans based on conservation of those resources. GIS computer generated maps are valuable tools in this process. These maps make it possible to visualize the local landscape and how the various resources are interconnected.

Your Conservation District can be a valuable partner in these efforts. Consult your local District to discuss their services.

Conservation Districts present many training programs and seminars that vary by region and by season. The common goal is to foster a sense of land stewardship and a conservation ethic among local citizens.

These programs may be geared to:

  • Municipal Land Use Staff and Commissioners
  • Agricultural Community
  • Landowners
  • Horse Owners
  • Land Trusts
  • Pond Owners
  • Realtors
  • Foresters and Loggers
  • Gardeners
  • Planners
  • Engineers and Landscape Architects
  • General Public

Building on our agricultural roots, Conservation Districts serve agricultural farmers and landowners across Connecticut in many ways.  We work to:

  • Assist municipalities and private groups to preserve open space by providing information, education and technical advice.
  • Promote sound agricultural practices to prevent erosion of fragile soil resources and pollution of precious water resources.
  • Advise farmers and help them find funding for building manure management and other structures.
  • Conduct June Nitrate Testing for farmers who want to avoid using excess nutrients.
  • Recognize local farmers with the “Conservation Farmer of the Year” Award for their efforts in environmentally sustainable agriculture.
  • Help farmers who are interested in preserving their land through the state’s Purchase of Development Rights Program.
  • Raise public awareness and to promote Farmland Preservation in partnership with Land Trusts and many other advocacy groups.
  • Educate the public and students about the crisis situation in Connecticut. According to Working Lands Alliance, we are losing farmland at a dramatic rate. Between 1992 and 1997 the state lost an average of 8,000 acres per year to non-agricultural uses. If the current rate of loss continues, Connecticut will have no farmland left by the middle of this century.